“The Theory of the ‘Formal Method'”1 provides an admirable overview of the work of the Russian Formalists. Boris Eichenbaum joined the Opoyaz group shortly. In “The Theory of the ‘Formal Method”’, written in , the author. Boris Eichenbaum outlines and explains the evolution of the Russian For- malist movement. Selection from The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, edition,

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He however agrees with the opponents that, in Formalism, there is no strict methodology. He says that Russian Formalism is not dogmatic but it is a historical summation.

Tom Haigh on Eichenbaum

The theory is valued only as a working hypothesis. Bodis says that he is not concerned with definitions nor does he intend to argue formalist position.

His chief purpose here, is to show how the formal method, by gradually evolving and broadening its field of research, spread beyond the usual methodological limits and became a special science of literature, a specific ordering of facts. He says that formalists focus on the empirical study of material, which is historically good. General attention has been caught not by its technique but by borix understanding and the study of technique.


The Theory of the Formal Method by Boris Eichenbaum

He accepts that there is the historical battle between symbolism and Formalism, and also between Impressionism and Formalism. Futurists support formalists because they oppose Symbolism. Formalism is characterized by scientific positivism. There is the analogous relationship between linguistics and formal methodology.

Summary Of The Theory Of The Formal Method

Formalists began their work with the question of the sound of Verse. Eichenbaum provides a general conclusion in a summary form that the historical nature of Formalist task is not personal.

The science is still evolving and the Formalists are along with it. To conclude, following points can be extracted:.

Formalism: One Method to Rule them All? | Ferdinand Besik –

They consider the idea of rhythm. Syntactic, Lexical and Semantic. The structure of the plot is created in terms of its motivation. Single device is applicable in various materials in differentiating different techniques: Evolution of the form according to its function. Eichenbaum, lastly, says that for formalism, theory forrmal history merge not only in words but also in facts.


It has scientific principles.

Russian Formalism is there fore objective, scientific and timely to study literature systematically. The Theory of the Formal Methood by Boris Eichenbaum Eichenbaum is one of the great members of Russian Formalism who tried to systematize formalist principle to set up a theory. Eichenbaum tries to employ scientific procedures and establish Formalism, a scientific theory.

For the science of literature, both independent and factual methods are needed.

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